Well, it turns out that I didn’t do an Avid online of an FCP offline, it was an FCP online of an FCP online, converted to Avid for final delivery. Well, I DID do one…I used Automatic Duck to convert the FCP sequence to an Avid sequence and then I recaptured. But went it came time to color correct, I felt severly hamstrung by the color correction tools available in Media Composer. No secondaries,
no color wheels (No, it has color wheels, see my comments at the end of the article)…and the CURVES take a while to get used to when you are used to color wheels. No way to visually save grades for easy application to shots that occur later. Well, you have 8 slots that are push button, but EIGHT? No, I needed 50! That’s what I ended up with in Color. Reality show with scenes happening all over the place.
Sure, you Symphony has far better controls, but I wasn’t using that. What Avid really needs to do is take the Symphony and Media Composer and roll them into one. Give MC the color controls of Symphony. That would make it pretty comparable to what I can do in Final Cut Studio.
Anyways…not to bust on Avid. Mostly what was hampering me was my unfamiliarity with the MC interface,and curves. Plenty of people do just fine with those controls, but I am just not used to them. It took me 9 hours to color correct 15 min on Media Composer. When I switched to Color, I did the whole show in that amount of time (45 min total). I’m sure that given time I’d get used to curves, but I’d still miss secondaries, the color wheels, ability to do vignettes, Color Effects…many many tools.
So I did the final online and color correct with FCS. Then I used Automatic Duck Pro Export 4.0.2 to export the project WITH MEDIA to Avid. That was a process I let go overnight. When I came back in the morning, I moved the media to the proper locations, opened Avid MC, chose a new project with the proper 1080i 59.94 settings, imported the AAF file and BOOM, everything connected! And there was no visible gamma shift. To really see if there was, I’d need to switch back and forth from applications, but seeing how I have FCP on one drive partition, and Avid on another, I can’t do that. But it looked spot on. The only thing that didn’t transfer was all the text I made with Boris Title 3D. The other text, the stuff made with the FCP TEXT tool, converted fine.
Now there seems to be a blurring of tools. I can take an Avid offline (because I love the tools it now offers), convert it to FCP, online and color correct, and give them a tape and Avid master project with media. Hmmm…except if I am relying heavily on MIX and MATCH, or tapeless acquisition. I’ll have to look into that.
EDIT: Oliver Peters emailed me to point out my error in this post. The MC most certainly DOES have Color Wheels. I replied to him by saying I though they were HUE wheel controls. Because they are found in the HSL tab under HUE OFFSETS. When I adjusted these it seemed to add more color to the highs/mids/blacks than color wheels should. Well, it does, when compared to Color or Colorista. But when compared to the 3-way in FCP, they are actually slightly better at not neoning out the colors. As Oliver put it, “FCP seems to be increasing blue through the roof without reducing R&G. MC doesn’t seem to offer nearly as extreme of a shift, but it does seem to reduce R&G with the increase of blue.” So I wasn’t used to the way that Avid’s wheels did things, so I was thrown.
I still prefer Color and Colorista. Good thing Colorista is for the Avid too!